Category: Kaiping.

World Heritage Site #1112 :: Kaiping Diaolou and Villages

WHS#1112 | Diaolou | Tourist Maps | Travel Guide | Photo & Video | News Update

kaiping diaolou#1112

State property: China
Location: Guangdong Province
GPS: N22 17 7.87 E112 33 57.1
Date of Inscription: 2007
Criteria: (ii)(iii)(iv)
Property : 372 ha
Buffer zone: 2,738 ha

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Kaiping Diaolou and Villages feature the Diaolou, multi-storeyed defensive village houses in Kaiping, which display a complex and flamboyant fusion of Chinese and Western structural and decorative forms. They reflect the significant role of émigré Kaiping people in the development of several countries in South Asia, Australasia and North America, during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. There are four groups of Diaolou and twenty of the most symbolic ones are inscribed on the List. These buildings take three forms: communal towers built by several families and used as temporary refuge, residential towers built by individual rich families and used as fortified residences, and watch towers. Built of stone, pise , brick or concrete, these buildings represent a complex and confident fusion between Chinese and Western architectural styles. Retaining a harmonious relationship with the surrounding landscape, the Diaolou testify to the final flowering of local building traditions that started in the Ming period in response to local banditry.

The site was inscribed under these below criteria,

Criterion (ii): The Diaolou represent in dramatic physical terms an important interchange of human values – architectural styles brought back from North America by returning Chinese and fused with local rural traditions – within a particular cultural area of the world.

Criterion (iii): The building of defensive towers was a local tradition in the Kaiping area since Ming times in response to local banditry. The nominated Diaolou represent the final flourishing of this tradition, in which the conspicuous wealth of the retuning Chinese contributed to the spread of banditry and their towers were an extreme response.

Criterion (iv): The main towers, with their settings and through their flamboyant display of wealth, are a type of building that reflects the significant role played by émigré Kaiping people in the development of several countries in South Asia, Australasia, and North America, during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and the continuing links between the Kaiping community and Chinese communities in these parts of the world.

Category: Kaiping
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